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Aquatic Biology

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AB - Vol. 10, No. 3 - Feature article
Hermit crab Clibanarius vittatus (Bosc, 1802) at Pescadores Beach (São Vicente, São Paulo, Brazil).
Photo: B. S. Sant'Anna

Sant’Anna BS, Turra A, Zara FJ


Simultaneous activity of male and female gonads in intersex hermit crabs


Intersexuality or hermaphroditism is common in many species which usually have separate sexes, but may also be caused by anthropogenic pollution (e.g. 'imposex' caused by tributyltin in molluscs). Sant'Ana and co-workers analyzed the anatomy of hermit crabs Clibanarius vittatus from an intertidal beach in Brazil, and found intersex individuals having functional female and male gonads. They concluded that C. vittatus is a truly sequential hermaphrodite displaying protogyny.


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